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Halloween is a bit different for us this year. I always knew our family costume themes would have to end eventually, but it is still a little sad to think about. I usually start planning the next year’s theme the day after the current Halloween and usually have all of our costumes by July. This year I let the kids choose their own costumes since the teenagers think they’re too old for a family theme. Two of them picked out inflatable dinosaur costumes and one is still deciding on his costume, but in a last ditch effort to have a family theme, I did try to talk him into an inflatable dinosaur costume and when that didn’t work, I tried to talk him into dressing like Dr. Ross Gellar, the paleontologist from the show Friends.

Even though I’m sad that this time with my children has ended, I think about all the time it took planning our family Halloween themes, and then executing them the way I imagine. It’s almost like planning one of my photo sessions. I plan what I want it to look like, then I start collecting the supplies, props and costumes for it. Sometimes it’s stressful when I can’t find exactly what I want or the boys balk at the theme, like the time I tried to make the oldest wear a powdered wig as George Washington. I never was successful in getting that wig on his head so he went without it. It takes a lot of time and energy to plan our themes and this year I will choose to be thankful that all I have to do is push a few buttons to order costumes online.

While the older kids might not think it’s cool to dress up with mom and little brother anymore, they still want to dress up. I take comfort in knowing that they still have a little bit of childhood left in them.

I will gladly let them choose their own costumes if it means they will still be willing to experience the fun of Halloween, no matter “how little kid” they think it is. It seems that society is forcing kids to grow up faster and faster. I don’t care how old they get, if they want to dress up like a giant doughnut at 18, I’ll buy the costume. There are worse things they could be doing on Halloween.

As sad as it is, they will grow up fast enough.

But hey, letting them grow up — as if I have a choice — is not all bad. There are definitely some perks to them getting older. I’m not tied to their schedules anymore. I can leave the house and do something on my own, like grocery shopping, without having to drag car seats and diaper bags with me, and I don’t have to fight off six arms reaching for things we don’t need on shelves as we go past.

I’m sure that once they are adults and out on their own, I will miss fighting off the six arms and trying to squeeze three car seats into the back seat of my car, but for now, I’ll just be thankful for this in-between adulthood and childhood time, and I will let my son run around town dressed like a giant dinosaur.

Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.

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Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.

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